Friday, February 27, 2009

Single and Choosy - Thoughts on Chemistry and Compatibility

I am a greatly blessed man.

Family members and friends have been telling me that when it comes to selection of a life partner, I am a very blessed man to have so many good choices (fine eligible single Christian ladies) around me. I agree with them.

And they wonder (aloud, many times) why I am still single.


A few who are closer to me sometimes turn friendly interrogators and bombard me with probing questions such as "Are you too choosy?"; "Are you enjoying your freedom as a single person so much that you are not willing to give it up?", and lo and behold, "Are you straight?".


Let me address the last question first, to dispel any lingering doubts anyone may have about my sexual orientation. I am a red-blooded male who is 100% straight. I find myself attracted only to women.

I was not sexually attracted to another male, am not, and never will be.


As for the question about my willingness, or rather, my unwillingness to give up freedom as a single person, my answer is: It is not so much about the willingness to give up freedom as it is the readiness to take up responsibilites.

When I think about the prospect of marriage, it never occurred to me that I should ask myself, "Am I willing to give up my freedom as a single person?".

The more pertinent question for me is, "Am I ready to take up responsibities as a married man?". To which my honest answer is, "Yes, I believe I am ready, by the grace of God".


So, that leaves me (and my friendly interrogators) with only one question: "Are you are too choosy?"

I find that a difficult question to answer. Over the years, I adjusted my response as I experienced more of life and grew as a person. But initially, I have always maintained that I don't consider myself as being overly choosy.


My reason: when it comes to selection of life partner, my considerations are basic and simple. Just the two Cs: Chemistry and Compatibility.

How do I apply this 2C model of decision making?

First, with regard to Chemistry, I ask, "Are we attracted to each other?". If the answer is "Yes", then I proceed on to the next question about Compatibility, when I ask, "Are the two of us a suitable fit for each other - do we make a good team when it comes to building up a family?".

Surely, those two are the bare minimum, standard questions any reasonable person would ask of a prospective life-partner, aren't they? Surely, I am not being too choosy, am I?


After being grilled on the same question time and again by different friendly interrogators, I realised that the 2C decision-making model may seem simple and elegant, but in the course of applying it in real life, many complexities arise. I shall elucidate briefly:

There are times I say to myself, "She seems like a kind and loving person. Everyone speaks well of her. But I suppose we can only be normal friends, and nothing more, because there is simply no chemistry between the two of us whenever we meet."

Then there are other times when I say, "Even though we find each other attractive, we are just not compatible in so many areas. I think it is best that we do not allow our relationship to proceed beyond that of normal friends."

Inevitably, I find myself in a situation where though objectively, choices and opportunities are aplenty, but subjectively, they are far and few in between.


What exactly do I mean by Chemistry?

Am I talking about a feeling over which I have no control - the spontaneous sense of infatuation and excitement caused by a surge of hormones in my physical body?

Or am I talking about the kind of admiration and respect that I can develop for a person over an extended period of time?


What do I mean by Compatibility?

How do I gauge compatibility in the areas of spirit, soul and body?

To what extent do I insist on my prospective life partner having:
the 1 non-negotiable (i.e. must be a born again believer);
the 2 key qualities (i.e. must be gracious and have practical wisdom), and
the 3 strong preferences (i.e. should share common interests, goals and values with me)?


Recently, after speaking to me over this matter of finding someone and settling down, a dear friend commented, "I think you think too much". I am inclined to agree with her.

However, as much as I regard myself as a fiercely rational and logical man, I also dearly cherish the romantic and idealistic person who has always been in me.

I envy those "heart-people" who can take actions in accordance with what their feelings tell them. And I admire those "mind-people" who can make decisions based on pure hard reasonings alone.


I reckon it is the expectation to balance both the "rational man" and the "romantic man" in me, and the insistence to arrive at a perfectly balanced Chemistry-Compatability decision that have contributed to my still being single.

I suppose that is my long-winded way of saying, "Yes, I am choosy".

So, unlike my friendly interrogators who wonder why I am single, I do not wonder. I know.


Most importantly, I know why I can be happy and fulfilled while being single. I know I have the most important C in my life - Christ in me, my hope of glory.

Jesus Christ loves me wholeheartedly without regard to my suitability as a Bride to Him. He chose me unconditionally without consideration over our Chemistry and Compatibility.

He is my Dearest Family Member. He is my Closest Friend. He is my Most Committed Life-Partner.

I am indeed a greatly blessed man.

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